by Rep. John Mica (R-Florida), July 23, 2003
Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.
in very strong opposition to the McGovern amendment. I could not be
any more opposed to any amendment that has been proposed in the House
in some time. Let me discuss for my colleagues, some of them have been
here, some of them have not been here during what has happened with
the increase of illegal narcotics coming in from Colombia.
and 1993, these charts are almost unbelievable. There is almost no cocaine
coming in from Colombia, and there was zero heroin coming in from Colombia.
Then appeared on the scene the Clinton administration which said, oh,
we cannot harm the hairs on any guerrillas, we must protect human rights
in Colombia and we must not do anything about drug trafficking there;
we must not interfere in the civil conflict. We did nothing and tens
of thousands died. Members of the legislature, members of the judiciary,
citizens by the thousands died in the civil war that had gone on there,
and the atrocities increased.
of illegal narcotics increased, and the deadly narcotics came from Colombia.
Here is the statistics: again, zero in 1993 and almost all of the deadly
heroin coming into the United States, and this had some results. The
results are absolutely incredible.
year 2000, 19,698, almost double from 1993, Americans died from drug-related
deaths, more than homicides. We have a silent war going on in this country.
So we sat down and we formed a plan, and it was opposed time and time
Congressman Gilman, who chaired the Committee on International Relations,
brought forth a Plan Colombia and plans to try to bring in helicopters
to go after this, to assist in training the Colombians and attacking
drugs and terrorism; and it was shot down time and time again.
through the leadership of the gentleman from New York (Mr. Hastert),
who was chair of the Subcommittee on Drug Oversight, and God, I think,
had a hand in making him Speaker of the House, we were able to get Plan
said we were wrong, The Washington Post said. The critics now say we
are right. Plan Colombia and President Bush have put it into action
to train the military down there, to stop the violence. The violence
has stopped. The statistics we hear are old statistics. Twenty-five
percent reduction in murders, 33 percent reduction in killing. We stopped
some of the killing, and this amendment will again put us in the position
of beginning the killing, beginning the destruction, not only in Colombia
but on our streets and neighborhoods.
So we have a chance now to move Plan Colombia forward and we cannot
destroy that chance through this amendment.
the progress is unbelievable. It benefitted 22,829 families in Colombia,
supported 24,549 hectares of legal crops, it completed 349 community
projects, established 33 legal service centers, constructed 19 oral
trial courtrooms, trained 3,400 judges, and aided 774,000 internally
displaced people. Those are the statistics. That is the truth. That
is what Plan Colombia has done, and we cannot take a step backward tonight.
be a disaster for those mothers and fathers that I have met with who
have lost their children from the cocaine, the heroin that has come
up from Colombia that we have not stopped. We have a chance tonight
to move Plan Colombia forward or move it backward and allow the killing
to continue in Colombia. Again, in the name of human rights, how many
more people should die there? How many more people should die on the
streets of my neighborhood in Florida or in the streets of New York?
Rich, poor, all are affected by what is going on. What about the silent
deaths by the tens of thousands in our country?
would be the worst step we could take in the history of this Congress
relating to our work against illegal narcotics to pass this amendment,
to take a step backward to where we were, and to do what did not work
should not be allowed to again happen in the Congress of the United
States. I oppose the amendment.
As of August
6, 2003, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/B?r108:@FIELD(FLD003+h)+@FIELD(DDATE+20030723)